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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Rio 2016
Winner of five Olympic medals and narrowly missing out five years ago on home waters at Rio 2016 where he finished an agonising fourth place, Robert Scheidt is defying his age and setting out to prove that a 48-year-old can conquer athletes half his age.
The simplest of all dinghies, and barely changed since it surfaced 50 years ago, the Laser made its first Olympic appearance at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. A 23-year-old Brazilian called Robert Scheidt narrowly won the gold medal in Atlanta…
Aisling Keller at the 2019 Laser Radial Wolds in Japan
The process by which Laser Radial sailor Aisling Keller was excluded from this summer’s Olympic Games “leaves a lot to be desired”, according to an editorial in her home town’s newspaper. The Lough Derg Yacht Club racer secured Ireland’s Laser…
Annalise Murphy looks pleased in the Enoshima dinghy park with her competition supplied Laser Radial for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Regatta
Annalise Murphy has taken delivery of her competition supplied Laser dinghy in Japan but there's no clue yet as to what she has christened her new boat for next week's competition. Regular Afloat readers will recall that her silver medal-winning…
Annalise Murphy is all set for the Olympic Games in Tokyo
Olympic silver medal-winning sailor, Annalise Murphy has expressed her appreciation to Mercedes-Benz for their support in her build-up preparations for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she will compete in the Laser Radial class. Visiting the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz,…
Eve McMahon sailing towards her medal win at Kastela, Croatia
Howth Yacht Club’s Eve McMahon took the silver medal at the EurILCA Laser Radial Youth Championships in Croatia yesterday, Saturday 3 July. The result from Kaštela, near Split, comes hot on the heels of her U19 silver medal at the…
Irish 49er Men – Robert Dickson (Dublin), Seán Waddilove (Dublin)
Team Ireland has officially selected a team of three sailors to compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy is set to compete in her third Olympic Games in the Laser Radial Women, and…
Howth Yacht Club ILCA 6 sailor Eve McMahon
Leaving out the first two races of the ILCA 6 U21 European Championship & Open European Trophy 2021 in which she added more than 80 points, Howth Yacht Club sailor Eve McMahon later became the best of the sailors in the remaining…
Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club
17–year–old Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club lies 15 points off the podium going into the final day of racing at the 2021 EurILCA Under 21 European Championships and Open European Trophy in Tivat, Montenegro. The Dublin Paris 2024 campaigner had…
The Men's and Women's Kiteboarding Events will replace the Mixed Kiteboarding and Mixed Offshore Events
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved Men's and Women's Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition, bringing the curtain down on the highly anticipated mixed offshore sailing event. The Men's and Women's Kiteboarding Events will replace…
ILCA 6 winner of the Allianz Regatta Marie Barrue has not been selected to represent France at Tokyo 2020 but her win demonstrates she has what it takes to excel at the highest level. She has her eyes set on Paris 2024 now but will also support her training group who will head to Tokyo.
The first half of the Allianz Regatta in Holland, part of the World Cup Sailing Series, has concluded with the awarding of gold, silver and bronze World Cup medals in the ILCA 6, ILCA7, Men’s and Women’s RS:X and the…
Tokyo bound Annalise Murphy had a tough week at Medemblik in the 58-boat ILCA 6 class
Tokyo bound Annalise Murphy ended a tough week at Medemblik with a black flag disqualification in race eight this afternoon in her final international ILCA 6/Radial event before the Olympic regatta in less than fifty days time. The Irish Rio silver…
Annalise Murphy negotiates the light winds at the Allianz Regatta in Holland
Two tough days of light, fickle breeze were replaced with 9-11 knots of breeze in Medemblik, The Netherlands as Irish interest in the Allianz Regatta's ILCA 6 fleet includes this weekend. Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon dropped back from…
Howth Yacht Club teen Eve McMahon leads the Irish at the Allianz regatta in Holland
Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon leads Irish hopes at the final international event before the Olympic Games at the Allianz regatta at Medemblik, Holland this week and lies in 11th place in the 58-boat women's ILCA 6/Radial fleet. Ireland's Tokyo…
In her race for Tokyo gold, Annalise Murphy will be aiming to beat 2016 rival and Olympic gold medalist Marit Bouwmeester (above) on home waters in this week's Allianz Regatta, the last major test before Tokyo
Ireland's Annalise Murphy finds herself in a Rio replay of five years ago this week when she confronts fellow 2016 podium finishers, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) as the 2021 Hempel World Cup Series kicks off at the Allianz Regatta in…
Northern Ireland Olympic helm Ryan Seaton has retired from competition
Two-time Olympic sailor Ryan Seaton from Northern Ireland has announced his retirement after almost 30 years of competition. Seaton, who is originally from Carrickfergus, represented Ireland at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the 49er alongside Matt McGovern, finishing…
The provisional iQFOiL ranking at the end of Day One  is a French affair, they occupy all top three spots in the Men
After a successful 2020 event in late October last year, a fleet of 38 women and 69 men for a total of 107 windsurfers gathered on Lake Garda for the 2021 iQFOiL International Games hosted by Univela Sailing in Campione…

Irish Olympic Sailing Team

Ireland has a proud representation in sailing at the Olympics dating back to 1948. Today there is a modern governing structure surrounding the selection of sailors the Olympic Regatta

Irish Olympic Sailing FAQs

Ireland’s representation in sailing at the Olympics dates back to 1948, when a team consisting of Jimmy Mooney (Firefly), Alf Delany and Hugh Allen (Swallow) competed in that year’s Summer Games in London (sailing off Torquay). Except for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Ireland has sent at least one sailor to every Summer Games since then.

  • 1948 – London (Torquay) — Firefly: Jimmy Mooney; Swallow: Alf Delany, Hugh Allen
  • 1952 – Helsinki — Finn: Alf Delany * 1956 – Melbourne — Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1960 – Rome — Flying Dutchman: Johnny Hooper, Peter Gray; Dragon: Jimmy Mooney, David Ryder, Robin Benson; Finn: J Somers Payne
  • 1964 – Tokyo — Dragon: Eddie Kelliher, Harry Maguire, Rob Dalton; Finn: Johnny Hooper 
  • 1972 – Munich (Kiel) — Tempest: David Wilkins, Sean Whitaker; Dragon: Robin Hennessy, Harry Byrne, Owen Delany; Finn: Kevin McLaverty; Flying Dutchman: Harold Cudmore, Richard O’Shea
  • 1976 – Montreal (Kingston) — 470: Robert Dix, Peter Dix; Flying Dutchman: Barry O’Neill, Jamie Wilkinson; Tempest: David Wilkins, Derek Jago
  • 1980 – Moscow (Tallinn) — Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson (Silver medalists) * 1984 – Los Angeles — Finn: Bill O’Hara
  • 1988 – Seoul (Pusan) — Finn: Bill O’Hara; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; 470 (Women): Cathy MacAleavy, Aisling Byrne
  • 1992 – Barcelona — Europe: Denise Lyttle; Flying Dutchman: David Wilkins, Peter Kennedy; Star: Mark Mansfield, Tom McWilliam
  • 1996 – Atlanta (Savannah) — Laser: Mark Lyttle; Europe: Aisling Bowman (Byrne); Finn: John Driscoll; Star: Mark Mansfield, David Burrows; 470 (Women): Denise Lyttle, Louise Cole; Soling: Marshall King, Dan O’Grady, Garrett Connolly
  • 2000 – Sydney — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, David O'Brien
  • 2004 – Athens — Europe: Maria Coleman; Finn: David Burrows; Star: Mark Mansfield, Killian Collins; 49er: Tom Fitzpatrick, Fraser Brown; 470: Gerald Owens, Ross Killian; Laser: Rory Fitzpatrick
  • 2008 – Beijing (Qingdao) — Star: Peter O’Leary, Stephen Milne; Finn: Tim Goodbody; Laser Radial: Ciara Peelo; 470: Gerald Owens, Phil Lawton
  • 2012 – London (Weymouth) — Star: Peter O’Leary, David Burrows; 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; Laser Radial: Annalise Murphy; Laser: James Espey; 470: Gerald Owens, Scott Flanigan
  • 2016 – Rio — Laser Radial (Women): Annalise Murphy (Silver medalist); 49er: Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern; 49erFX: Andrea Brewster, Saskia Tidey; Laser: Finn Lynch; Paralympic Sonar: John Twomey, Ian Costello & Austin O’Carroll

Ireland has won two Olympics medals in sailing events, both silver: David Wilkins, Jamie Wilkinson in the Flying Dutchman at Moscow 1980, and Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial at Rio 2016.

The current team, as of December 2020, consists of Laser sailors Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon, 49er pairs Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, and Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson, as well as Laser Radial sailors Annalise Murphy and Aoife Hopkins.

Irish Sailing is the National Governing Body for sailing in Ireland.

Irish Sailing’s Performance division is responsible for selecting and nurturing Olympic contenders as part of its Performance Pathway.

The Performance Pathway is Irish Sailing’s Olympic talent pipeline. The Performance Pathway counts over 70 sailors from 11 years up in its programme.The Performance Pathway is made up of Junior, Youth, Academy, Development and Olympic squads. It provides young, talented and ambitious Irish sailors with opportunities to move up through the ranks from an early age. With up to 100 young athletes training with the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway, every aspect of their performance is planned and closely monitored while strong relationships are simultaneously built with the sailors and their families

Rory Fitzpatrick is the head coach of Irish Sailing Performance. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and was an Athens 2004 Olympian in the Laser class.

The Performance Director of Irish Sailing is James O’Callaghan. Since 2006 James has been responsible for the development and delivery of athlete-focused, coach-led, performance-measured programmes across the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway. A Business & Economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he is a Level 3 Qualified Coach and Level 2 Coach Tutor. He has coached at five Olympic Games and numerous European and World Championship events across multiple Olympic classes. He is also a member of the Irish Sailing Foundation board.

Annalise Murphy is by far and away the biggest Irish sailing star. Her fourth in London 2012 when she came so agonisingly close to a bronze medal followed by her superb silver medal performance four years later at Rio won the hearts of Ireland. Murphy is aiming to go one better in Tokyo 2021. 

Under head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the coaching staff consists of Laser Radial Academy coach Sean Evans, Olympic Laser coach Vasilij Zbogar and 49er team coach Matt McGovern.

The Irish Government provides funding to Irish Sailing. These funds are exclusively for the benefit of the Performance Pathway. However, this falls short of the amount required to fund the Performance Pathway in order to allow Ireland compete at the highest level. As a result the Performance Pathway programme currently receives around €850,000 per annum from Sport Ireland and €150,000 from sponsorship. A further €2 million per annum is needed to have a major impact at the highest level. The Irish Sailing Foundation was established to bridge the financial gap through securing philanthropic donations, corporate giving and sponsorship.

The vision of the Irish Sailing Foundation is to generate the required financial resources for Ireland to scale-up and execute its world-class sailing programme. Irish Sailing works tirelessly to promote sailing in Ireland and abroad and has been successful in securing funding of 1 million euro from Sport Ireland. However, to compete on a par with other nations, a further €2 million is required annually to realise the ambitions of our talented sailors. For this reason, the Irish Sailing Foundation was formed to seek philanthropic donations. Led by a Board of Directors and Head of Development Kathryn Grace, the foundation lads a campaign to bridge the financial gap to provide the Performance Pathway with the funds necessary to increase coaching hours, upgrade equipment and provide world class sport science support to a greater number of high-potential Irish sailors.

The Senior and Academy teams of the Performance Pathway are supported with the provision of a coach, vehicle, coach boat and boats. Even with this level of subsidy there is still a large financial burden on individual families due to travel costs, entry fees and accommodation. There are often compromises made on the amount of days a coach can be hired for and on many occasions it is necessary to opt out of major competitions outside Europe due to cost. Money raised by the Irish Sailing Foundation will go towards increased quality coaching time, world-class equipment, and subsiding entry fees and travel-related costs. It also goes towards broadening the base of talented sailors that can consider campaigning by removing financial hurdles, and the Performance HQ in Dublin to increase efficiency and reduce logistical issues.

The ethos of the Performance Pathway is progression. At each stage international performance benchmarks are utilised to ensure the sailors are meeting expectations set. The size of a sailor will generally dictate which boat they sail. The classes selected on the pathway have been identified as the best feeder classes for progression. Currently the Irish Sailing Performance Pathway consists of the following groups: * Pathway (U15) Optimist and Topper * Youth Academy (U19) Laser 4.7, Laser Radial and 420 * Development Academy (U23) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX * Team IRL (direct-funded athletes) Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 49erFX

The Irish Sailing performance director produces a detailed annual budget for the programme which is presented to Sport Ireland, Irish Sailing and the Foundation for detailed discussion and analysis of the programme, where each item of expenditure is reviewed and approved. Each year, the performance director drafts a Performance Plan and Budget designed to meet the objectives of Irish Performance Sailing based on an annual review of the Pathway Programmes from Junior to Olympic level. The plan is then presented to the Olympic Steering Group (OSG) where it is independently assessed and the budget is agreed. The OSG closely monitors the delivery of the plan ensuring it meets the agreed strategy, is within budget and in line with operational plans. The performance director communicates on an ongoing basis with the OSG throughout the year, reporting formally on a quarterly basis.

Due to the specialised nature of Performance Sport, Irish Sailing established an expert sub-committee which is referred to as the Olympic Steering Group (OSG). The OSG is chaired by Patrick Coveney and its objective is centred around winning Olympic medals so it oversees the delivery of the Irish Sailing’s Performance plan.

At Junior level (U15) sailors learn not only to be a sailor but also an athlete. They develop the discipline required to keep a training log while undertaking fitness programmes, attending coaching sessions and travelling to competitions. During the winter Regional Squads take place and then in spring the National Squads are selected for Summer Competitions. As sailors move into Youth level (U19) there is an exhaustive selection matrix used when considering a sailor for entry into the Performance Academy. Completion of club training programmes, attendance at the performance seminars, physical suitability and also progress at Junior and Youth competitions are assessed and reviewed. Once invited in to the Performance Academy, sailors are given a six-month trial before a final decision is made on their selection. Sailors in the Academy are very closely monitored and engage in a very well planned out sailing, training and competition programme. There are also defined international benchmarks which these sailors are required to meet by a certain age. Biannual reviews are conducted transparently with the sailors so they know exactly where they are performing well and they are made aware of where they may need to improve before the next review.

©Afloat 2020

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